Chrome OS Flex installation guide

3: Start using Chrome OS Flex

After you have successfully booted Chrome OS Flex from your USB installer, you can permanently install Chrome OS Flex, erasing the device’s existing OS and replacing it with Chrome OS Flex. If you're not yet ready to install Chrome OS Flex on devices, you can temporarily run it using the USB installer. That way, you can test and verify that device functionality, such as networking and input tools, works as expected.

Things to consider

Google recommends that you fully install Chrome OS Flex, not live boot from the USB installer. Live booting has performance and storage limitations, and does not support automatic updates or enrollment for management. Live booting is only recommended for temporary exploration or testing. We strongly recommend full installation for the best Chrome OS Flex experience.

Full installation of Chrome OS Flex erases all existing data, applications, settings, and OS that are currently on your target device. Lost data is permanently unrecoverable, even if the installation is not successful.

Explore Chrome OS Flex

Chrome OS Flex provides the option to live boot, running the OS directly from your USB device without actually installing it. Live boot helps to preserve your device's current data and OS, so you can test Chrome OS Flex before you install it.

On the device that you booted using the USB installer:

  1. On the Welcome to Chrome OS Flex screen, click Get started.
  2. On the Start using Chrome OS Flex screen, click Try it first.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Sign in to the device.

After you've finished testing or exploring Chrome OS Flex, to permanently install Chrome OS Flex:

  1. Sign out of the device.
    1. At the bottom right, click the time.
    2. Click Sign out.
  2. At the bottom of the sign-in screen, click Install Chrome OS Flex.
  3. Carefully review the on-screen warning about erasing data.
  4. Click Install Chrome OS Flex.
  5. When installation is complete, you'll see a message on screen. The device turns off automatically.
  6. With the device completely turned off, take out the USB installer.
  7. Turn on the device and start using Chrome OS Flex.

Note: After you install Chrome OS Flex, user data—such as downloads and settings—collected during live booting does not persist.

Install Chrome OS Flex

Before you begin: Back up your data to the cloud or a separate drive. Be sure to disconnect all backup and storage drives.

  1. On the Welcome to Chrome OS Flex screen, click Get started.
  2. On the Start using Chrome OS Flex screen, click Install Chrome OS Flex.
  3. Carefully review the on-screen warning about erasing data.
  4. Click Install Chrome OS Flex.
  5. When installation is complete, you'll see a message on screen. The device turns off automatically.
  6. With the device completely turned off, take out the USB installer.
  7. Turn on the device and start using Chrome OS Flex.

Format your USB drive

If you want to reuse your USB drive after you successfully install Chrome OS Flex on devices, use the Chromebook Recovery Utility to format it.

  1. On the Chrome OS, Windows, or Mac device that you used to create the USB installer, open Chrome browser "".
  2. Launch the Chrome Recovery Utility extension.
  3. Click Settings ""and thenErase recovery media.
  4. Insert the USB drive you want to format.
  5. From the dropdown menu, select the USB drive.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Click Erase now.
    The Chrome Recovery Utility extension erases everything on your USB drive
  8. When you see the message Your recovery media has been erased, click Done.

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